WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), joined with Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) to introduce America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act.
The bipartisan legislation will reauthorize or establish several important government wildlife conservation programs. The ACE Act helps conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. It addresses the threats of emerging wildlife diseases and invasive species, while also protecting livestock from predators. The EPW Committee is scheduled to consider the legislation at a business meeting on Dec. 17, 2019.
“America has been blessed with incredible wildlife,” said Barrasso. “In Wyoming, we have elk, mule deer, bison and so many more amazing species. We must continue to protect them. The ACE Act will help Washington partner with state and tribal leaders to conserve and manage wildlife. The bill establishes a task force to address the growing problem of chronic wasting disease. The legislation will also compensate ranchers and farmers for their losses when livestock are killed by federally protected animals. I will work with other Senators to advance this important legislation."
“The ACE Act represents a strong bipartisan compromise to address wildlife challenges and reauthorize wildlife and habitat conservation programs that work,” said Carper. “The North American Wetlands Conservation Act, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act and Chesapeake Bay Program are all critically important to habitat conservation and species protection in Delaware and in our region. This legislation also authorizes funding for federal agencies to tackle invasive species, a growing problem in Delaware and across the nation. I am proud of this bipartisan commitment to our nation’s treasured wildlife, and I look forward to working with Chairman Barrasso to advance this legislation.”
The ACE Act will:
- Reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act until 2025;
- Reauthorize the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act until 2025;
- Reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Program until 2025;
- Reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails network and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Grants Assistance Program until 2025;
- Commission a study by the National Academy of Sciences regarding the pathways and mechanisms of the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the United States;
- Establish a CWD task force to develop an interstate action plan for state and federal cooperation relating to the disease;
- Establish a program to provide grants to states and Indian tribes to compensate livestock producers for losses due to predation by federally protected species such as wolves or grizzly bears;
- Establish a Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize for technological innovation to reduce –human-predator conflict using non-lethal means;
- Authorize funds to combat the threat of invasive species;
- Authorize the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue depredation permits to livestock producers to allow for the taking of black vultures or common ravens under specified circumstances during calving or lambing season; and
- Encourage partnerships among public agencies and other interested parties for promoting fish conservation.
To view full text of the legislation, click here.